When school vacations roll around, whether it be winter, spring or summer, it’s always a question of finding a destination that’ll please the kiddos and the grown-ups that doesn’t involve an enthusiastic, anthropomorphic mouse. (No shade, Mickey—we love you and we love your food.) Lucky for you, The Family Vacation Guide compiled a list of the cities with the best Airbnb experiences, considering factors like ratings, listings and prices. From Portland, Oregon to Oklahoma (which claimed two spots), with activities that range from caverns and panoramic views to wineries, nightlife and art, these are the destinations your whole family is sure to enjoy.
These 10 U.S. Cities Have the Best Airbnbs for Families (and 2 Are in Oklahoma)
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
1. Portland, OR
- Things to do: Knot Springs, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Powell’s City of Books, Hawthorne Asylum, Portland International Rose Test Garden
- Where to stay: Portland Garden Cottage (from $98/night, sleeps 5); Cozy Modern Condo (from $99/night, sleeps 5); Historic Queen Anne Apartment (from $89/night)
Start your Portland stay with a cup of joe from the original Stumptown Coffee Roasters, founded in 1999. Continue the day with a visit to Powell’s City of Books, the country’s biggest independent bookstore. It takes up a whole city block, so you might be in there for a while. If you get hungry, head to the Hawthorn Asylum food cart pod, where you can nosh on everything from gyros and Guyanese cuisine to beer, bubble tea, Korean fusion and more. Be sure to check out the Portland Rose Garden, which is the oldest continuously operated rose garden in the U.S. It has over 10,000 rose bushes on display with downtown skyline views, plus free tours.
- Things to do: Hot air balloon rides, National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, Carlsbad Caverns, Church Street Café, Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
- Where to stay: Peaceful Albuquerque Home (from $158/night, sleeps 6); Vista Sandia (from $121/night, sleeps 8); University Heights Apartment (from $52/night, sleeps 2)
Hot air balloons, nuclear bombs, caverns, oh my! There’s plenty of adventure waiting in Albuquerque. Take a hot air balloon ride and learn about the history, art, science and sport of the activity at the International Balloon Museum through various collections and exhibitions. Science lovers will enjoy the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, which dives into the history of the Atomic Age. Visitors can learn about how the technology is used today, as well as the early days of research and development. There are also planes, rockets, missiles, cannons and a nuclear sub sail for exploring as you learn about how Atomic and Pop Culture collided. If you enjoy the outdoors, be sure to pay a visit to the Carlsbad Caverns, which are the result of limestone dissolved by sulfuric acid. After you’ve spent the day in the Chihuahuan Desert, nab a bite to eat at Church Street Café, which dishes up typical Southwestern fare (don’t skip the salsa).
3. El Paso, TX
- Things to do: Local art galleries, El Paso Zoo, biking the Rio Grande, Mount Cristo Rey, La Vina Winery
- Where to stay: Sun City Townhouse (from $104/night, sleeps 6); Quaint El Paso Apartment (from $48/night, sleeps 2); Historic Loft (from $70/night, sleeps 2)
Known as “Sun City,” El Paso sees 302 days of sunshine per year. Cross the border to go wine tasting at La Vina Winery and then wrap up the day at one of the many art galleries displaying both local and international artworks. You can also head for a family-friendly afternoon at the El Paso Zoo. With its 220 species, including the Amur leopard and Aruba rattlesnake, the kids will enjoy discovering all the animals. Or, take a hike up Mount Cristo Rey for panoramic views of Mexico, Texas and New Mexico.
4. Tulsa, OK
- Things to do: The Gathering Place, Blue Dome Entertainment District, Utica Square, Cain’s Ballroom, Philbrook Museum of Art
- Where to stay: Central Tulsa Bungalow (from $100/night, sleeps 6); Downtown Cherry Street Home (from $73/night, sleeps 5); Midtown Blue Bungalow (from $74/night, sleeps 4)
The Gathering Place is where you’ll find wholesome family fun in Tulsa. With gardens, a playground, skate park, live entertainment and kayaking, there’s no want of things to do. If you live for a vibrant nightlife scene, head over to the Blue Dome Entertainment District. Named after the former 1920s Gulf Oil Station, the area dishes up a good time with cocktails, food and entertainment. In need of some retail therapy? Utica Square is rife with specialty and upscale boutiques and bistros. And at the historic Cain’s Ballroom, you can catch a live show—the venue is known for hosting some of music’s most popular artists. Be sure to also pay a visit to the Philbrook Museum of Art, which is the definition of ‘20s opulence (hi, Italianate villa) and the former mansion of oil magnate Waite Phillips.
5. Tucson, AZ
- Things to do: Saguaro National Park, Murray Springs, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, art galleries
- Where to stay: Sonoran Modernist Home (from $154/night, sleeps 5); Sonoran Retreat (from $135/night, sleeps 4); Historic Studio Casita (from $105, sleeps 2)
A desert adventure awaits in Tucson—start by venturing off to Saguaro National Park to see the cactus forests. Then, check out Murray Springs, a Clovis cultural site (they’re said to be the continent’s earliest inhabitants). This is one of the few known mammoth kill sites. You’ll also want to hit the art scene, which boasts galleries, public art and filmmaking history galore. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum features a zoo, botanical gardens, natural history museum and aquarium for a fun-filled family day outdoors.
- Things to do: Keeneland Racecourse, Boone Creek Creamery, Bourbon tastings, horse farm tours, Mary Todd Lincoln House
- Where to stay: Lexington Duplex (from $82/night, sleeps 4); The Walton House (from $74/night, sleeps 3); Elegant Merrick Home (from $94/night, sleeps 4)
Come to Lexington for horses and bourbon. At the Keeneland Racecourse, you can observe the exercises (and it’s free!). Can’t get enough? Visit one of the many horse farms, such as Kentucky Horse Park. Home to 50 horse breeds, there are also museums, galleries, theaters and working farm exhibits on the property. History buffs will want to see the Mary Todd Lincoln House, while foodies will appreciate Boone Creek Creamery (cheese galore) and bourbon tastings at the historical James E. Pepper Distillery and cocktail bar.
- Things to do: Oklahoma City National Memorial, Scissortail Park, First Americans Museum, Bricktown Canal, Factory Obscura's Mix-Tape
- Where to stay: Lemonade Lodge (from $60/night, sleeps 4); Bohemian Bungalow (from $97/night, sleeps 4); Historic Getaway (from $72/night, sleeps 2)
Start your visit to Oklahoma City at Bricktown Canal, which you can tour by water taxi. Dive into ‘80s music culture at Factory Obscura’s Mix-Tape exhibit, and then hit Scissortail Park, a 70-acre complex with gardens, groves, live performances, pedal boats and other activities. You also won’t want to miss the First Americans Museum, which showcases the collective history of 39 First American Nations and their art and culture—there’s even a restaurant on the premises that dishes up Native American cuisine. Finally, you can’t leave without heading to the Oklahoma City National Memorial, where hands-on exhibits and artifacts recount the fateful event.
8. Omaha, NE
- Things to do: Blackstone District, Spirit of Nebraska's Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Parks, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, El Museo Latino, Old Market Entertainment District
- Where to stay: Romantic Condo (from $129/night, sleeps 4); Modern Vintage Home (from $55/night, sleeps 3); Country Chic Home (from $64/night, sleeps 5)
There’s something for everyone in Omaha. Kids will enjoy the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, where they can traverse a swinging rope bridge in a tropical rainforest. Gourmands will want to tuck into the original Ruben sandwich at Crescent Moon in the Blackstone District (the bar itself is considered one of the country’s best by Draft Magazine) and eat their way through the Old Market Entertainment District. Get to know the city by touring Spirit of Nebraska's Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Parks, which features over 100 bronze statues over six city blocks, or visit El Museo Latino, the Midwest’s first Latino art and history museum.
9. Fresno, CA
- Things to do: Blossom Trail, Yosemite, Kearney Mansion Museum, Shinzen Japanese Friendship Garden, Mural District
- Where to stay: The Carriage House (from $91/night, sleeps 4); Charming Downtown Studio (from $82/night, sleeps 2); Historic Designer Bungalow (from $93/night, sleeps 4)
Planning a springtime visit? The Blossom Trail is a must-see. Almonds are the number one crop in Fresno, accounting for 25 percent of the state’s production. Spanning 70 miles, the roads are rife with trees in pink and white blooms, plus festivals and events to celebrate the season. Additionally, it’s a great to town to visit year round, as it’s an easy drive to Yosemite and other public lands. In town, check out the Kearney Mansion Museum, former home of the “Raisin King,” as well as the Shinzen Japanese Friendship Garden and Mural District. Some good murals to hit: Fresno Postage Stamp at 1315 Van Ness Avenue and Welcome to Fresno at 746 Broadway Street.
10. Raleigh, NC
- Things to do: Pullen Park, North Carolina Museum of Art, Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Pope House Museum
- Where to stay: The Cozy Suite (from $100/night, sleeps 2); Raleigh Townhouse (from $96/night, sleeps 4); Downtown South District House (from $94/night, sleeps 6)
Arts, culture and the outdoors collide in Raleigh. Part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the state’s longest, dips into the northern part of the city, with access points at Blue Jay Point County Park or Wilkerson Nature Preserve. At Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, you’ll find three miles of trails and 200 Eastern Hemlock Trees. Take the kids to Pullen Park, considered the state’s first public park, with a carousel, mini train and pedal boats to keep everyone occupied for an afternoon. At the North Carolina Museum of Art, visitors can discover Egyptian artifacts, European paintings and African and Judaic artwork. For a slice of history, visit the Pope House Museum, where the life of Dr. Manassa Thomas Pope—considered one of the city’s most distinguished African American citizens—is on display.